OWS swim #1 2014: Minami-Atami swim (1.5km)

It’s that time of year again – the open water swimming season, that is.
I’ve been training hard, or at least training, for the last 6 months or so.
Miles make the champions, so they say.
This year will be the year of some long-distance swims for me, so stay tuned for some hopefully interesting swim race reports.

Swimming has been consuming much of 2014 so far.

First race of the season was last Sunday. Just a baby one of 1.5km. It was technically an aquathlon event, but they did also have a 1.5km swim only option which I signed up for, but only because I knew a couple of other people were going to be there as well. It was a long way to go for 1.5km. Down at Minami-Atami Nagahama beach. Took over 2 hours to get there. But I wanted do at least one open water swim in race conditions before this weekend’s big swim. I also need to practice swimming with gels in my cossies.

The day was warm and humid despite being a little overcast. The water was flat as.

From Minami-Atami OWS 2014
From Minami-Atami OWS 2014
From Minami-Atami OWS 2014
From Minami-Atami OWS 2014
From Minami-Atami OWS 2014

Here is us testing out the water:

From Minami-Atami OWS 2014

The water was surprisingly cold. A chill 19 degrees. I had gone to the beach the day before at Onjuku, and whilst it was refreshing, I was not prepared for how cold it would be down Atami way. Water felt a lot colder. I struggled with it at first.

Our little swimming posse:

From Minami-Atami OWS 2014

I have an extremely high kick in this photo:

From Minami-Atami OWS 2014
From Minami-Atami OWS 2014
From Minami-Atami OWS 2014

The 500m distance was up first, and then they moved the buoys out for the 1500m. It was supposedly a 750m course of which we were to do two laps.

Number 502 is ready to race!

From Minami-Atami OWS 2014

I felt strong and fast through the swim. Everyone went hard out to the first bouy and it felt like I was back of the pack, but come the second buoy I was lapping everyone. And kept lapping more people as did the second lap. I felt fast. But the course also felt short. Really short. It must have been less judging by our times. For a supposed “1.5km”, I got a time of 16min and 39 seconds. My guess is that it was only about a 1km or so. I had a gel pack with me (not that I was going to drink it) and I lost it before I even got to the
first buoy. Must tuck it fully into my cossie. Lesson learnt.

Lisa and I were the only two females in the swim event. She took out 1st place and I took second. She had beaten me by a minute. Such a shame that it was not a proper 1.5km course. How do they even measure these distances? They were basically just riding out jet skis and moving the buoys. But how do they measure the course?

From Minami-Atami OWS 2014

I got a second place female medal. And came 5th place overall (male and female) for the 1.5km swim race.

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